Patrick Marleau’s free agency decision will come down to four teams, one of which is the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to multiple reports.
Patrick Marleau still deciding his next steps, there currently are four teams considered in the running at this point.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) July 1, 2017
Am being told there are four teams in the mix for San Jose #Sharks UFA Patrick Marleau.— John Wawrow (@john_wawrow) July 1, 2017
Patrick Marleau is down to about four teams. It sounds like the #leafs remain in the mix.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2017
Marleau has played every game of his 19 NHL seasons with the Sharks, but has been increasingly linked to the Leafs this summer. Toronto Head Coach Mike Babcock has long been a fan of the winger, as well as longtime teammate and fellow free agent Joe Thornton. Babcock coached Marleau at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, and a source told Custance that he’s been pitching the free agent forward on signing with Toronto:
According to an NHL source, Mike Babcock is putting the hard sell on Marleau and it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s done the same for Thornton.
If Marleau decides to leave San Jose, that would reportedly make Thornton’s departure more likely.
There’s just under ten minutes until free agency officially begins, and I recommend you all strap yourselves in.